Ole Miss opens exhibition tour in Canada with win
MONTREAL, Canada – Playing in a game for the first time under new head coach Kermit Davis, the Ole Miss men’s basketball team kicked off its 2018 Canada Tour in style with a 102-61 victory over McGill Sunday afternoon in Montreal. The Rebels used stifling defense and a fast-paced offense to cruise to the win.
Ole Miss held the Redmen to a 28.6 percent (18 of 63) clip from the floor, while shooting 58 percent (40 of 69) on the other side of the court. Senior Terence Davis scored a team-high 20 points, including the Rebels’ first nine of the game. Sophomore Devontae Shuler matched Davis with a team-high 25 minutes, recording 11 points and dishing out three assists. On his birthday, senior Bruce Stevens added 13 points for the Rebels.
In his first game donning an Ole Miss uniform, Brian Halums scored 14 points and pulled down six rebounds off the bench. The Itawamba Community College transfer went a perfect 5 of 5 from the field and made both of his threes. Another new Rebel who did not miss from the floor was freshman KJ Buffen. Draining all three of his shots along with four free throws, Buffen tallied 10 points throughout the afternoon. All eight newcomers saw the floor Sunday.
McGill was led by Sam Jenkins, who went 4 of 5 from three-point land en route to a team-high 16 points. Alex Paquin added 14 points, while Jamal Mayali scored 10 points off the bench. The Rebels limited the Redmen to 18 made field goals, and the home team found most of its success from the charity stripe (17 of 23).
Terence Davis got the Rebels off to a fast start, scoring the team’s first nine points of the game to give Ole Miss a 9-2 advantage. The Southaven, Mississippi, native finished the quarter with 12 points as the Rebels built a 26-15 lead after 10 minutes of play. Ole Miss shot 50 percent (11 of 22) in the opening quarter, including 4 of 7 from beyond the arc.
The Rebels increased their lead by outscoring the Redmen 25-20 in the second quarter. Stevens led the way in the quarter with seven points. Ole Miss continued its hot shooting by making 11 of their 18 shots (61.1 percent) to boast a first half field goal percentage of 55 percent. To end the half, Stevens picked up a steal before finding Shuler on the fast break. The sophomore glided through the air for a reverse dunk to send the Rebels into the locker room ahead 51-35.
Ole Miss did not let off the gas coming out for the second half, quickly building the cushion to 25. Buffen and Halums paced the squad with six points apiece as the Rebels outscored McGill 27-18 during the period. For the second consecutive quarter, Ole Miss shot 61.1 percent from the field and continued to force turnovers on defense.
The Rebels locked down defensively for the final 10 minutes, holding McGill to only eight points in the quarter on 2 of 16 (12.5 percent) shooting. One major factor was the rim protection of seven-footer Dominik Olejniczak. The Torun, Poland, native registered a pair of blocks and contributed a team-best six points in the quarter. Eight different Rebels scored in the fourth, and the bench emptied in the game’s final minutes as every player on the trip saw action.
The Rebels return to the court tomorrow night, battling Concordia in Montreal. Tipoff is slated for 6 p.m. CT. While the game will not be streamed, live updates will be provided on Twitter at @OleMissMBB.
For the latest news and information on Ole Miss Basketball’s Canada Tour, follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissMBB, on Facebook at Ole Miss Men’s Basketball and on Instagram at olemissmbb.